Have you ever had one of those days were you keep finding yourself wandering aimlessly in the kitchen and munching on anything and everything? If yes, then I have officially found another abnormal beast just like me!
So I have been feeling like that for the past two weeks, especially when I get to my day off from CrossFit. Now don’t get me wrong. I try to cook most of my meals at home. And when I’m not cooking, I’m usually popping my head into the kitchen every 10 minutes asking my mom not to add any butter/cream/condensed milk to the food. So I’m definitely trying my best to keep my food very plain and SIMPLE. That’s the most important factor about eating clean. Simple, nutritious foods and grains to fuel and energize your body. It is very important to get your body used to the type of food you ingest everday. This step requires your commitment and consistency.
Let’s assume that you are working out at 4 PM (who does that? I do.), you will get your body used to having a small meal at no later than 2 PM. Now this meal must be a small portion of a lean protein meat and simple carbohydrates because you want to make sure you are able to fully digest it before your workout starts. After completing your workout, you may have your protein shake and then a nice post-workout meal which includes a decent portion of lean protein, healthy fats, and some vegetables. Now I’m not being entirely clear about what you should be eating and I don’t want you to keep wondering.
So after a little research, I hope that you are able to incorporate and introduce these foods into your daily intake.
Lean Protein Source (30% of caloric load):
> Chicken Breast (4 oz.) – 27 grams
> Mahi-Mahi (3 oz.) – 16 g
> 99% Lean Ground Turkey(3 oz.) – 21 g
> Eye of Round Steak – 20 g
> Scallops (3.5 oz.) – 15 g
> Shrimp (4 oz.) – 18 g
> Tilapia (5 oz.) – 22.2g
> Turkey Breast – 26g
> Tuna Fish – 20g
Fats/Lipids Source (30% of caloric load):
> Virgin Coconut Oil
> Grass-fed butter
> Clarified butter/ghee
> Extra virgin olive oil
> Avocado Oil
NOTE: You want to avoid fats that have a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids and high processed industrial oils. Examples include Canola, Cottonseed, soybean, grapeseed, corn, vegetable, sunflower, margarine, and buttery spreads.
Notice the following comparison:
Coconut oil = 92% saturated, 6% MUFA, 2% PUFA [GOOD]
Sunflower oil = 6% saturated, 19% MUFA, 63% PUFA [Not so much]
Notice how sunflower oil is mostly composed of unsaturated fatty acids? That poses a problem.
Carbohydrates (40% of caloric load):
> Beans (White, black, pink, kidney, lentil, soy, almond, peanut, walnut, chickpea)
> Small Seeds (sunflower, flax, pumpkin, poppy, sesame)
> Whole intact grains (wheat, oat, rye, rice, barley)
> Pita Bread, basmati rice, unpeeled boiled potato
> Sweet Potato
Most of the above mentioned carbs are rated low to medium on the Glycemic index of foods. This is important because a low-GI (glycemic index) food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which is what you want to be ingesting for most of your meals except for the post-workout meal. That’s the only time you may indulge in a high-GI food to rapidly raise your blood glucose levels for energy recovery purposes after exercise. High GI foods include white rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, pretzels, and bagels.
I tried to simplify things as much as possible and give you the gist of my research. Carbohydrates are very essential for your body as you can see and it is impossible to sustain a no-carb diet. However, the time of day at which you consume these carbohydrates is even more crucial. I personally prefer to have the bulk of my carbohydrates in the morning for breakfast and before my workout for sufficient fuel. From the time I’m done with my workout until bedtime, ideally, I would have a lean protein cut of my choice with some greens. I would snack on unsalted peanuts, cashews, and walnuts. Also I have to have my daily spoonful of Peanut Butter. I’m saying I would really like it if I’m able to eat like this all the time and be able to vary my choices within the above mentioned categories. I get the usual cravings just like everyone else. When I do, I try my best to shut my stomach up with a date or a glassful of water. If that craving is occupying my mind and all I’m thinking about, then you just gotta have it!
If you have any questions or would like to give feedback on this reading please let me know 🙂